Organic Prunes in a Squab Consommé Gelée
By Executive Chef Josh Silvers,
Syrah Restaurant, Santa Rosa, CA

4 Squabs
8 Leaves of Gelatin (approximately)
2 oz. Armagnac
6 - 8 Organic Prunes
3 whole Leeks
2 whole Carrots
6 Egg Whites
1/2 Onion (chopped and diced)
1 cup Madeira Wine
1 cup Red Wine
1/4 cup Shallots (chopped)
1 Mirepoix of (carrots, onions, and celery)
2 Thyme Stems
1/2 gal. of Water
6 Peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf
1 Shallot (diced)
1/4 cup Cream

Cooking Method:
This is a two day process, as the squab consommé must be made in advance, and the prunes must be soaked overnight. You will use every part of the squab.

1. Soak the prunes in advance in one ounce of armagnac and hot water overnight..

2. During the process of making the consomme, never let it come to a boil, as that will cause the fat to emulsify in the stock.

3. Take the 4 squab, confit the legs, remove the breasts, sear them off, and set aside. With the carcass, make squab consommé.

If you have any questions about any part of this process, call Josh personally at (707) 568-4002.

Step 1: Make the Consommé
Tips: Dice and blanche leeks needed later and prepare mirepoix while consommé is cooking, so you are standing right there. You never ever want to boil it, because it emulsifies the fat into your stock, and it will be greasy. Stock should constantly be skimmed.

1. Brown the bones of 4 squab in 2 tbls. of peanut oil, when the bones are brown, add one ounce of armagnac, a cup of madeira, a cup of red wine, and flambe that off, (burning off the alcohol). Add the mirepox (carrots, onions, celery) add half gallon of water, two thyme stems, 6 peppercorns, and a bay leaf. Simmer about 3 hours, and then strain it. Let it cool down. Clarify it with 2 whole uncooked minced leaks, two carrots, minced, and 6 egg whites. Whisk the uncooked additions till they are one. Take cold stock, mix all those ingredients in it, bring up to a simmer, and then the egg whites and vegetables will form a raft. DO NOT BOIL. When stock is clarified, carefully strain it through a chinois and cheesecloth together. That is when you get rid of the raft - strain the raft out of it. Carefully hold the raft back as you strain the stock. Consommé is a clarified stock.

2. Once you have consommé, soak gelatin leaves in cold water. The actual amount of leaves you need depends on how much stock you end up with. You need about 4 leaves per cup. Add softened gelatin, (2 leaves of sheet gelatin = 1 tbls. of powdered gelatin, or 4 sheets of leaf gelatin = 1 package of powdered gelatin. ) After you have softened it in water, then you heat your stock and pour your melted gelatin into that. Take the plumped prunes that have been soaking in armagnac and hot water overnight.

Step 2: Squab Liver Mousse
1. Caramelize half a cup of diced onions, with one diced shallot. When caramelized, add the livers that you have cleaned, cook for 2 minutes, add the armegnac, madeira, and flambe.

2. Add thyme, salt and pepper, and add then 1/4 of cream right towards the end, and this helps expand the mousse. All that goes into a food processor. Add two leaves of gelatin that has been softened and melted in a double boiler. Remove mousse and strain through a chinoise, because it is kind of liquid, and then let it set, cool down, and put in refrigerator.

Step 3: Assembling
1. Next, shred the leg meat, and slice the breast on a diagonal, and then layer your leeks, your prunes, your squab. Shape the mousse in quenelles, (use spoons to shape) and make that part of the layers. Add the gelatin enriched consommé to cover, and let it set over night in the refrigerator all in the mold.

2. When ready to serve, simply remove from mold. Place on attractive cutting board with rice crackers. Serve with salt, pepper, and stone ground mustard on the side.


Other Great Related Links:
The Styling of California Cheese

Living in the Details

The Secret's in the Rice

Petaluma Poultry

Executive Chef Josh Silvers Bio

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